Alonso wins Monaco GP as everything goes his way
By Claas Hennig May 28, 2006, 14:32 GMT
Spanish Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of Renault F1 team leads the pack in front of the Finnish kimi Raikkonen of McLaren Mercedes (rear) during the start of the Monaco Grand Prix at the Monaco circuit, in Monaco, Sunday 28 May 2006. EPA/KERIM OKTEN
Monte Carlo - World champion Fernando Alonso of Spain won the Monaco Grand Prix for the first time in his career as everything went his way on a controversial weekend.
Alonso first got the pole position when the original qualifying winner Michael Schumacher was ordered to the end of the grid by race stewards for deliberately blocking the Spaniard and others in the final lap of qualifying.
In the race, Alonso was assured of his fourth season win and the 12 of his career when first the engine of third-placed Williams driver Mark Webber blew up and second-placed Kimi Raikkonen's McLaren suffered the same fate three laps later.
Alonso won the 78-lap race over 260.520 kilometres in 1 hour 43 minutes 43.116 seconds from Juan Pablo Montoya in the second McLaren and Red Bull's David Coulthard, with Schumacher fighting his way up to fifth place in the end to salvage four championship points.
But Alonso raised his lead over Schumacher by another six points to 21 points, 64 to 43. Raikkonen and Giancarlo Fisichella follow with 27 points each.
Schumacher's antics Saturday created a storm in the paddocks, with many drivers upset, the international media reminding of previous dubious incidents around the German and motorsport supremo Max Mosley on Sunday defending the sanctions even though he did not want to accuse the German directly of cheating.
Schumacher himself and Ferrari protested their innocence and the driver was expected to comment for the first time on the sanction after the race.
Ferrari had to start from the back of the grid for the first time with Felipe Massa joining Schumacher in the last row after recording no time in qualifying.
Up front, Alonso made the best of his pole position while Raikkonen overtook Webber in the second of the 78 laps on the famous 3.340-kilometres course.
The order did not change - and all 22 cars still running - until Webber's Williams blew up in the 48th lap which brought out the safety car until the wreck was lifted off the track.
Raikkonen, the 2005 winner, didn't even last that long as his race was over in the 51st when the engine seemingly overheated during the slower driving behind the safety car.
These incidents swept Montoya and Honda driver Rubens Barrichello into second and third.
But Barrichello's podium dreams ended when he was sanctioned with a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane and those of Toyota's Jarno Trulli as well when his car gave up in third place with five laps left.
The two-time Monaco winner Coulthard took third ahead of Barichello, with Schumacher, Fisichella in the second Renault, Nick Heidfeld in a BMW-Sauber and Ralf Schumacher in a Toyota also in the points.
The F1 season continues with the British GP in Silverstone on June 11.© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur